With a little help from Techie the robot, Albert Heijn is partnering with the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam on a new campaign to make it cool for kids to learn more about technology and science. Starting on June 4, the “Technology Rocks!” campaign will run for four weeks in Albert Heijn stores and allow Dutch children to collect 160 different cards that list fun facts and experiments.
Better still, 20 of the cards can be brought to life with augmented reality (AR) pictures that teach the basics of computer programing, a skill that is likely to shift from niche to essential within a few years as the role of technology becomes increasingly important.
“With this campaign we want to introduce children to the world of tech,” said Albert Heijn CEO Wouter Kolk. “They can discover for themselves how exciting it is and how it makes progress possible.”
Techie the robot will serve as the face of the campaign. In combination with the free AH Tech app, kids can program their own augmented reality Techie. By dragging, adding or removing code blocks, they can change the robot into a movie star or let it breakdance or perform stunts. They can also upload a picture of themselves, place it on the body of Techie, and program moves they can share with friends.
The campaign, which kicked off yesterday with an event at the museum, is all about getting kids interested in science and technology. “You cannot start early enough,” said NEMO Director Michiel Buchel. “This campaign is special because it means we can reach so many children and their parents through something as simple as grocery shopping.”
The 160 cards can be kept in an official album that will be available from Albert Heijn beginning June 4. When spending €10, customers will receive a four-item set containing either AR pictures or other cards. The album costs €0.99 and is free in the first week with a selected bonus offer.